Posts Tagged ‘holidays


Thankful? You bet!

Thankful?  You bet!

Orange Cranberry Relish

Being a vegetarian, the turkey thing is not exactly my idea of Thanksgiving.  What the holiday does bring is the run-up to my annual heathenish/Jewish/I love Christmas anyway month of reflection on why, with a nod to Lou Gehrig, I am the “luckiest” person “on the face of the earth.”

I could start with the blessings of an amazing daughter and fabulous husband — or that I even have the opportunity to wake up each day with enough food to eat, the ability to work, hot running water, and an iPad, iPhone and Macbook to play with.

The point being that whatever sorrows and triumphs I may experience over the course of a day, a week or what has become the sum total of my lifetime, the process of saying “thank you” to the folks who make those experiences possible is one that requires more than just a day to sit back, overeat and watch football. Rather the point of it all is to live in a realm of “thank you,” where common courtesies, extending oneself to others even when one doesn’t have to, and otherwise being mindful of the other seven billion on the planet is a way of life.

So if I haven’t said so lately, thank you to all the friends who have extended themselves to me by reading Girlboxing. You’ve all made it a place where I feel comfortable enough to jot down my thoughts and opine to my heart’s content on the little things and big things that have meaning to me. Most importantly, you’ve all helped to expand my world and my way of thinking — something that has been an incalculable gift.

Please also accept my best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Orange Cranberry Relish

(1) 12 oz. package fresh cranberries

(1) cup sugar

(1) navel orange

Grated orange peel from one orange

(2) – (3) cups orange juice

Rinse and pick over the cranberries.

Place in a heavy 2 – 3 quart saucepan, and cover with orange juice under medium flame.

Add in sugar and grated orange peel.

Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. (You should be attentive at the stove as the cranberries will start to pop.)

Reduce flame and simmer for about 40 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens, stir occasionally throughout.

Place in a festive bowl and allow to set and cool (about an hour or so).

Cover tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating.  Will keep for three – four days.


Sixth day

Sixth day


The Sixth Day of Creation, 1926 Woodcut, M. C. Escher


This is my sixth morning of yoga and I’m thinking am I nuts to get up even earlier than way before dawn to do this??

Sure that meditation-y feeling is nice and it really is quite amazing to think that the body can hit such poses when one is fighting off dreamland but please, I need several more hours in the day just to do this sort of stuff because I actually do *not* think that sleep is overrated!

So I start thinking of it this way.

Did I really need to watch two episodes of Battlestar Gallactica (Season 1 of the reboot from the SF channel-really good) when I came home from work yesterday?  Yes, I acknowledge that I didn’t exactly “watch” per se, but made dinner for my family, removed all the ornaments from the Christmas Tree, took down the lights and packed everything.  So that’s “fair,” right?  So why do I feel “bad” about it?  Why do I insert the “but,” the — but I could have been doing yoga, shadow boxing, lifting weights, reading, paying bills, doing laundry.

Oy!  Balance!  What’s a person to do?

As with a lot of people I know there is way too much going on from day to day: a full day’s work, the business side of one’s domestic life, family time — not to mention attempting to keep oneself in some sort of physical “shape,” plus whatever other stuff is out there for one’s own personal growth.  Say taking classes, writing, gym time, running/walking/hiking/biking, doing pottery, painting, reading … and so on.

It all brings me to the notion that many of us live in a sort of permanent sixth day.

We wake-up much too early, go about creating the world, get to bed much too late and rather than taking a day of rest, get up for yet another day of creating the world.

It brings to mind that we are all like Atlas.  We are over-scheduled, over-stressed and over-worked — not in and of itself a “bad” thing so much as the fact that we are all so tired and need a space to slow it down; the chance to say, the seventh day is not a bad idea after all.  And no it doesn’t mean that one has to get “religion”  and go running off to a house of worship, rather, it’s a way to acknowledge that when one is working hard, very hard for that matter, it is A-OKAY to be a slug for a day.  Further, how one structures that seventh day is really, ultimately up to oneself.

For religious Jews, the seventh day is a weekly holiday.  One eats a huge meal with family, sings, dances, prays, and then sits around till the end of the sabbath period.  I’m oversimplifying, but the kernel of the idea is that we all owe ourselves some rest, if nothing else than to be restored enough to fight the next battle with our wits about us.

It’s a lesson that true athletes know.  The body can only be pushed so far before it needs rest.  And so with all of us as an everyday experience.  We need balance and part of that balance is closing the shutters and putting up the sign that says, “gone fishing.”



Happy New Year abs

Happy New Year abs!

So true to my do a bit of exercise everyday New Year’s resolution, I completed a 40 minute Yoga video (courtesy of Netflix:  “Crunch: Candlelight Yoga”) and found a 15 minute Ab-workout on YouTube from  I’m now free to watch yet more English police-procedural videos with a clear conscience!

Happy New Year everyone from Girlboxing!




Wishing everyone a fabulous day of peace, love and joy!


Are we ever really done?

Are we ever really done?

My semester ended yesterday.  I finished it with a self-satisfied feeling of having completed something.  Last night, in a celebration of sorts, I used my free evening time to bask in the glory of evening television, hanging (and arguing) with my family, cooking dinner (well, sort of, because it meant ordering in Indian for my husband, cooking mac and cheese with peas for my daughter and reheating Tuesday’s eggplant parm for me), wrestling with our very ornery cat and starting in on the list of chores in the run-up to Christmas.

I actually wrote Christmas cards, ordered Christmas presents online (including a double of something — oops), hauled out last year’s wrapping paper, talked with my husband about how neither of us felt very Christmasy this year, and then dug through our very overstuffed closet to find the bag of ornaments for the tree we have to get one of these days.  It all got me to thinking that the crush of too much to do all the time means that simple moments tend to fall by the wayside in favor of a forced march of “have-to-get-this-done.”

In essence, my night off wasn’t a night off at all, least ways not until I figured out that I really didn’t have to get everything done in one night.  And even though my list of things to do is still pretty huge, I’ve resolved to slow down over these next few weeks; to take the moments as they are and enjoy the journey too, not just the destination.

I see the application to my boxing too.  I get in a rush and go mad for the gym and then find that I lose the knack for even getting there.  So I’m calling a moratorium on needing to overachieve everything.  Merely achieving is okay, just as being done is okay.  That means that today, even though I have a lot of chores, I’m going to give each thing its due and if something doesn’t get finished, well, that’s okay too.  It can have its own arc; its own round, and while it’s nice to fit things neatly into the equivalent of three-minute intervals, not everything in life can be experienced in that way.



March 2021

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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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